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News & Updates
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August 18, 2017

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has issued a practice alert indicating that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has now started denying Form I-131 Applications for a Travel Document requesting advance parole where an individual has departed the United States while the Form I-131 application is pending – even where the applicant has a valid H, L, K, or V visa or already has a valid advance parole document.  AILA raised this issue with the USCIS Service C...

January 16, 2017

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a new regulation codifying longstanding policies introduced by the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 while also making it easier for foreign workers to change employers during the employment-based permanent residence process.  The new regulation establishes grace periods for certain classes of nonimmigrant workers and their dependents, and provides an automatic extension of work authorization for adjustme...

March 14, 2016

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published new regulations significantly modifying the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for F-1 students with a qualifying U.S. science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) degree.  Overall, the new regulations will allow more F-1 students to qualify for an extension of their OPT period based on an eligible STEM degree while also increasing the maximum period of STEM OPT time available to F-1 students. 

The new regulations al...

January 26, 2016

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has granted the Department of Homeland Security’s request for an additional three months to implement new STEM OPT regulations.  In August 2015, the Court vacated the current STEM OPT regulations for failing to comply with the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act.  The Court’s August 2015 holding stayed the invalidation of current STEM OPT regulations through February 12, 2016 – in order to avoid "subst...

July 21, 2015

Following the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office’s (AAO) precedent decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC (“Simeio”), USCIS has issued final guidance articulating when an employer is required to file an amended or new H-1B petition based on a change in work location. Simeio found that a change in the H-1B worker’s place of employment to a geographic area requiring a new certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) constitutes a material change under the H-1B regulations and, thus, requires...

May 20, 2015

Effective May 26, 2015, USCIS will suspend Premium Processing Service for all H-1B petitions seeking an extension of stay until July 27, 2015.  During this period, employers will not be able to submit a Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for an H-1B petition seeking an extension of stay.  USCIS further indicated that it will refund the $1,225 Premium Processing fee if an employer has filed an H-1B petition seeking an extension of stay prior to May 26, 2015, but the case is not a...

May 11, 2015

The June 2015 Visa Bulletin shows that EB-2 China priority dates will advance by twelve months to June 1, 2013 and EB-2 India priority dates will advance by nearly six months to October 1, 2008.  EB-3 China priority dates will see a four month advancement to September 1, 2011, while EB-3 India priority dates will only see an advancement of one week to January 22, 2004.  The EB-5 China category will remain at May 1, 2013.  EB-3 Philippines priority dates will further retrogress to January 1, 2005...

April 14, 2015

The May 2015 Visa Bulletin indicates that EB-2 China priority dates will advance by fourteen months to June 1, 2012 and EB-2 India priority dates will advance by more than seven months to April 15, 2008.  EB-3 China priority dates will advance by four months to May 1, 2011, while EB-3 India priority dates will only see an advancement of one week to January 15, 2004.  The May 2015 Visa Bulletin further shows that the EB-5 China category will retrogress to May 1, 2013.  EB-3 Philippines priority d...

April 14, 2015

USCIS issued an announcement stating that it will begin adjudicating H-1B cap petitions filed with Premium Processing Service on April 27, 2015.  Premium Processing Service provides for certain employment-based petitions to be adjudicated within 15 calendar days of receipt by the government.  During the H-1B cap filing period, however, USCIS commonly adjusts its Premium Processing Service to accommodate for the volume of submissions.  Based on the USCIS announcement, H-1B cap petitions submitted...

April 14, 2015

USCIS announced it has completed the computer-generated lottery process for randomly selecting H-1B cap petitions that will receive a visa number for the 2016 fiscal year.  The government received nearly 233,000 H-1B cap petitions for the annual numerical quota of 65,000 visas for individuals holding a bachelor's degree or higher (or its equivalent) and 20,000 for individuals holding an advanced degree from a qualifying United States university, college or educational institution.  USCIS first c...

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United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Final Guidance on When to File an Amended or New H-1B Petition After Matter of Simeio Solut...

July 21, 2015

Following the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office’s (AAO) precedent decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC (“Simeio”), USCIS has issued final gui...

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